It was only last week that Comcast was getting called the Antichrist for disrupting BitTorrent users on its network and preventing the Associated Press from downloading the Bible. Since then, Comcast has offered nothing but excuses. Now, Comcast might get sued.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation and the New York State Attorney General's office are two possible candidates for a fraud lawsuit. A fraud charge could hinge on the manner in which Comcast is disrupting traffic. The technology, provided by a company called Sandvine, tricks computers into shutting down BitTorrent connections. Comcast is, in effect, pretending to be the customer in order to prevent data from being transferred. In New York, it is criminal impersonation in the second degree to "(impersonate) another and ... act in such assumed character with intent to obtain a benefit or to injure or defraud another."
Somehow we doubt if Comcast will cave to mere bad press — they get kind of a lot of it. Nor are mass customer defections likely. A lawsuit is probably the only measure that would stop Comcast.
Unlike our blog brethren at Gizmodo or The Consumerist, we'd be all in favor of a broadband provider doing anything it likes with its pipes. You don't like it? Go lay your own fiber, bub. And I'm sure AT&T, Verizon, Comcast and the rest are doing all kinds of naughty things with their customers' Web connections. The problem here? Comcast got caught. That's the real no-no.